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Briton Agrees to Manslaughter in Mercy Killing of Wife on Cyprus

November 21, 2022

ATHENS – A British man living on Cyprus with his wife will agree to a manslaughter plea that could see him released from prison over he said he killed her in an act of euthanasia because of her suffering from blood cancer.

David Hunter was accused over the death of 74-year-old Janice Hunter, in December 2021 at the couple’s retirement home in the town of Paphos, and Justice Abroad, which represents him, said a plea deal had been reached.

Hunter insisted he suffocated his wife in a “mercy killing” after she asked to be spared a long, agonizing death, said the British newspaper The Independent, and that he then tried to kill himself with an overdose of pills.

Lawyers asked for authorities to charge him with assisted suicide but were turned down by the island’s Attorney-General and he was put on trial at Paphos District Court, the report said. The couple were together for 56 years.

The hearing was halted in October while Hunter’s legal team and prosecutors discussed switching the murder charge to the lesser offense of manslaughter.

Michael Polak, director of Justice Abroad, said, “We are very pleased that the murder charge is no longer on the table as our objective all along has been to get David out of prison and back home as soon as possible.”

He said at the next hearing that mitigating circumstances would be brought to show the couple had a long, loving relationship and that the killing was to spare her and grant her last wishes.

Hunter will enter a guilty plea on Dec. 5, the report said. “It’s not murder. My wife was asking and asking me to help. I assisted her because she was suffering. She was my best friend for 53 years and it’s very difficult to go through something like this without your best friend, he said.

 

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